Once upon a time, my odd behaviour, strange way of thinking, and outrageous antics were endearing. Everyone loved me and my wild ways, perhaps even because of my wild ways. But now that most people have a greater awareness and understanding of mental illness, my behaviours are appalling, tragic, pitiful, dangerous, distressing. “Such a shame.”
Once upon a time, it was funny when I climbed into a chest freezer in a supermarket because I was so tired and wanted to sleep and the shop was too noisy and I needed to be cold because I honestly thought my blood was on fire. “Omg you’re sooo crazy hahaha!” “What a nutter, you’re so funny!” “Lmfao I fucking love you, you crazy bitch!” “You are SUCH a legend!” If I did that today, you’d call 999, failing to hide the embarrassment on your face. You’d scuttle away from the “scene”, but not before telling the crowd of onlookers that I’ve “been like that for years.”
The idiosyncrasies of mine that were once adorable are now utterly deplorable.
It’s funny how things change. Unfortunately, I haven’t. I’m still as sick as ever. But at least you’re educated about mental health now, right?
Also published on Hijacked Amygdala under the alternative title, ‘An Education’.
I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and I often feel like my blood and brain are on fire, that any noise is too much for me and that I could drop on the floor and sleep anywhere. (It is a condition of many symptoms but inability to regulate body temperature, fatigue, lack of oxygen to the brain, blood pressure drops all add up to similar responses to stressors) The idea of climbing into a supermarket freezer for a kip is so appealing. I wish I’d thought of that!
Sorry you are still unwell and that you can no longer lay claim to your queen of quirky title. Chronic illness sucks. 😢
PS I’m not pretending to really understand your illness. I’m just struck by the similarities. People may think they are educated about what mental illness is about but we cannot really guess at how difficult it must be.
Ah, thank you for your comment! Your illness sounds truly awful, I hope you’re not suffering too much, and that you’ve got lots of things in your life that can make it feel less awful. Although just as we aren’t all super-educated on mental illness, chronic physical illnesses are also misunderstood by the masses who don’t seem to understand that a couple of aspirin and an early night won’t cure this!
And actually you’ve raised awareness through this comment: I’d never heard of Ehlers Danlos syndrome and immediately looked it up, so thanks for teaching me something new today :) xx
Thanks for looking for a bit more information. You are so right about the masses. 😢
I have no words.